Inspired by a recent article in the Journal of Chemical Education, Tom Kuntzleman attempted to extract lithium from a coin battery, and to use the extracted lithium to produce a pink flame.
The familiar soda fountains that can be produced by adding Mentos candies to plastic bottles of carbonated beverages can also be produced by adding objects to carbonated beverages in aluminum cans. A variety of simple methods for producing soda fountains from cans are described.
Check out the solution to Chemical Mystery #18: Peek A Boo Blue!
The differing electrostatic and solubility properties of starch and polystyrene foam packing peanuts are used in various demonstrations to describe aspects of microplastics and their interactions with the environment. Their differing responses to exposure to liquid nitrogen and iodine solutions are also described.
Summertime means doing chemistry experiments with flowers found growing in the yard...
Some explorations and explanations regarding superconductors and the quantum levitation (also known as quantum locking) experiment.
During the last few semesters, a small survey has been deployed at Bradley University where students were to describe and classify items of litter that they found. The purposes of the surveys were to get students thinking about some of the chemical implications of solid waste and give the students some experience with a citizen science project. The most recent iteration of the survey, and some of its results, are described.
Kristen Drury came up with a fun new project for her class, “Create a Game: Shark Tank Presentation.”
Beautiful, metallic mirrors of copper or silver can easily be formed in test tubes. Simply add the appropriate metal salt to a test tube, and heat! These reactions should be performed in a fume hood.
The blossoms of eastern skunk cabbage produce heat for a couple of weeks in early spring. This heat, which can be detected using an infrared camera, results from oxidation of carbohydrates. The mechanisms behind this process can be used to introduce energy transduction during classroom discussions of thermochemistry.